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Research into the public’s attitude to sexual health has been published to coincide with STIQ Day. STIQ Day is held on 14th January each year to raise public awareness of sexual health issues in the UK. The research was conducted by Populus and commissioned by, a leading provider of sexual health testing services.

Populus questioned 1,064 adults across Great Britain between 9th and 11th January 2015. Here are some of the key findings:

• A quarter of Londoners would ignore an STI diagnosis and carry on as normal if they had no symptoms. Only 8% of the national figure would adopt this approach.

• 12% of Londoners believe that you cannot have an STI if you do not have symptoms. This was double the national rate of 6% that thought this was true.

• 12% of Londoners also thought that having a shower after sex would prevent them catching an STI. This was three times the national rate (4%).

• Women seemed to adopt a more responsible attitude than men with 48% of women saying that they would make sure that partners were tested for STIs compared with only 24% of men saying that they would reduce their risk in this way.

The STI Clinic commissioned this research to examine whether key public health messages were getting through.

In the main, the research suggested that the majority of people in the UK had a good level of awareness although there were some slightly worrying results. For example, 5% of respondents believe that using a lubricant will prevent the transmission of an STI. 4% believe that using a contraceptive pill will also offer protection against sexually transmitted infections and the same number thought that having a shower after sex would confer the same protection. 83% of respondents correctly identified that none of these actions would prevent an STI being contracted.

The survey questioned participants about how they would go about reducing the risk of a sexually transmitted infection and 87% said that they would use a condom every time they had sex. 90% of women would adopt this approach, compared with 83% of men.
Almost two thirds (64%) would reduce their risk of an STI by making sure that they did not have multiple sexual partners. This option was more popular with women than men (69% vs. 59%). 25-34 year olds were least likely to adopt this approach (56%)

Over a third (37%) would try to reduce their risk of getting an STI by making sure that all of their sexual partners are tested. Double the proportion of women said this than men (48% vs. 24%). One fifth (21%) said that they would take all of the precautions suggested to reduce their risk of catching an STI. Women were far more likely to choose all options than men (29% vs. 12%).

The majority of respondents would tell their sexual partner if they were diagnosed with an STI (86%). Four fifths (78%) would do so in person, with only 1% of people saying that they would use an anonymous notification service provided by a sexual health clinic.

Participants were asked about how they would respond in terms of lifestyle changes in the event that they were diagnosed with an STI. An overall 8% said that if they had no symptoms and were diagnosed with an STI they would be likely to ignore the diagnosis and carry on as normal. Alarmingly, a quarter (25%) of Londoners would adopt this course of action.

More than four-fifths (83%) said that if they were diagnosed with an STI they would be likely to stop having sex completely until they are treated and cured (where possible). The results show that women are more open to giving up sex completely than men. 88% of women say that they would adopt this approach until cured, compared with 77% of men.

Robert MacKay, founder of[] said:

“This survey clearly shows that key messages are getting through but we know from our experience as a leading provider of sexual health testing that people do not always behave in a way that they know they should. The only way to be sure that you do not have an STI is to get tested and this has never been easier. Along with the full range of testing available through our online clinic, many local NHS services and sexual health charities now offer testing by post.”

STIQ Day was launched a few years ago to encourage regular sexual health testing. Whether the testing is done through a private clinic or a free public service, sexual health is an important aspect of our general wellbeing. All sexually active people should be encouraged to get tested so as to be able to get treatment and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The STI Clinic is a UK healthcare provider that allows individuals to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by post. Its goals are to deliver a service that is fast, reliable and comprehensive. It achieves these aims by offering: same-day dispatch of the chosen test kit and next-day results for most tests; laboratory-based analysis of samples and treatment for anyone who tests positive.

An executive summary and full data tables relating to the survey are available on request. For further information, please contact Sali Kharobi at

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of The STI Clinic in the following categories: Health, Women's Interest & Beauty, Medical & Pharmaceutical, for more information visit